A defiant President Donald Trump pushed back against criticism of him and his administration.
In a new interview with Time, he told the magazine's Washington Bureau Chief, Michael Scherer: "I'm president, and you're not."
Throughout the March 22 interview -- which appears in a new issue of the magazine subtitled "Is Truth Dead?" -- Scherer pressed Trump on his tendency to make explosive allegations without presenting any evidence to support them.
First, Trump was asked about his claim -- originally made on Twitter -- that former President Barack Obama's administration had wiretapped Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential election. His response was to say that he didn't mean "wiretapping" in the literal sense of the word.
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"When I said wiretapping, it was in quotes," he told Scherer. "Because a wiretapping is, you know today it is different than wire tapping. It is just a good description. But wiretapping was in quotes. What I’m talking about is surveillance."
Scherer then pointed to FBI Director James Comey's March 20 testimony before Congress. According to CNN, Comey stated that he had "no information that supports [Trump's] tweets." Asked whether Comey's words damaged Trump's credibility, the president stood his ground.
"No, I have ... articles saying it happened," he said, adding: "And a lot of information has just been learned, and a lot of information may be learned over the next coming period of time. We will see what happens. ... I predicted a lot of things that took a little of bit of time."
Scherer recalled Trump's statement that millions of people voted illegally in the election, costing him the popular vote. He reminded Trump that no evidence has surfaced to back up the allegation.
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"We’ll see after the committee," Trump said. "I have people [who] say it was more than that. ... But there will be, we are forming a committee. And we are going to do a study on it, a very serious problem."
"I’m a very instinctual person, but my instinct turns out to be right," he said when asked whether, as president, he should be more careful with his words. "When everyone said I wasn’t going to win the election, I said well I think I would."
"Brexit, I predicted Brexit, you remember that, the day before the event," he continued. "I said, no, Brexit is going to happen, and everybody laughed, and Brexit happened. Many, many things. They turn out to be right."
When Scherer brought up the wiretapping issue again, Trump changed the subject and sounded off on the various leaks that have come out of the White House since his inauguration.
"And you know the real story here is about the leakers," he said. "OK? You don’t write about that. But the real story here is, who released General Flynn’s name? Who released my conversations with Australia, and who released my conversation with Mexico? To me, Michael, that’s the story, these leakers, they are disgusting. These are horrible people."
"Hey look, in the meantime, I guess, I can’t be doing so badly, because I’m president, and you’re not," he stated. "You know. Say hello to everybody OK?"